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Amid criticism from the top leadership, Shazia Ilmi get some support from AAP's middle level leaders
Shazia Ilmi, Aam Aadami Party (AAP) leader brought another storm in the Indian politics when she asked Muslims that they should be 'communal' rather supporting 'secularism'. The video believed to be shot when she was in Mumbai for campaigning in favor of AAP's candidate Mira Sanyal, who is contesting from South Mumbai.

In the video she was seen as saying, “I am saying Muslims are very secular and they need to be communal. Muslims should learn to caste vote for their own. Arvind Kejriwal is one of you. And it is good to call off secularism.”

Distancing itself from what Shazia Ilmi said, AAP posted a tweet on the micro-blogging site on Tuesday night in which the party reflected it's official stand. The tweet says, “AAP does not believe in this kind of politics nor does it endorse it."





Party's senior leader and a key aide to Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia too tweeted against what Ilmi had said. Sisodia in his tweet said, "I've seen Shazia's clip. She should have not said it. AAP does not believe in communal politics. Our politics is to unite all Indians,"



Surprisingly when we tried to take views of Ilmi's party colleagues in Delhi, many of them expressed their unawareness about the controversial remark. AAP's Lok Sabha candidate from South-West Delhi Jarnail Singh, who is also a sitting MLA from Tilaknagar Assembly, Veena Anand who contested Delhi Assembly elections from Patel Nagar said that they have no idea about any controversial statement given by Ilmi. 

Only Akhilesh Pati Tripati, an AAP MLA from Model Town Assembly constituency, tried his best to clarify what Shazia Imli said, “I feel her statement had been misinterpreted. Though I am not much aware about this, but all I can say is that she is well sophisticated person and she might be having certain strong reasons behind it. Her appeal revealed that she wants Muslims to vote for the right party which treats everyone equally i.e. AAP. She can't ask people directly to not vote for BJP or Congress.”

Amid party distancing itself from Ilmi's remark, she also got some support from AAP's Mumbai based spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon, who through a blog tried to elucidate the real meaning of Ilmi's words, “Shazia was attempting to say that Muslims are frightened into giving votes to the so called secular Congress which has by and large let them rot in their ghettos so that they can keep using them as fodder. Muslims are not communal, they never vote for any Muslim party, they vote for so called secular parties as they are frightened of their plight if the Hindu fundamentalists take control.

The blog further says, “Shazia said they must give this secularism/fundamentalism issue a backseat and think of their community - how it will be fed, clothed and developed. They must fight against corruption as that is the biggest stumbling block in their progress. So if thinking for what is best for their community is called being communal, then so be it. They must give up being secular (voting based on secular/communal politics) and become communal (vote based on selfish agenda of welfare of their community).”



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